How did you meet?
We’ve known each other since we were fifteen years old, we’re now both 30. We didn’t see each other after we left school and met up again when we were twenty-one. We used to go clubbing at Hammersmith Palais, we started hanging out with the same group of friends and then – bingo – we fell for each other!
Describe the marriage proposal.
In October 2000 David took me on a surprise cruise around the Norfolk Broads on a ‘love barge.’ It had red love heart seats, a four-poster bed and Jacuzzi. On the second night there, after mooring at a beautiful pub, we went back to the boat where he produced a bottle of Champagne. He asked if we needed an excuse to drink it and I said, ‘No, we’re on holiday!’ I think the boat was the giveaway but I had to let him have his go. He then got down on one knee and produced the most beautiful ring. He cried, whilst I stayed in a stunned silence… Then we rang everyone at midnight, drank the Champagne and retired to endless rocking on the boat!
How long did you spend preparing for the day and how was it?
It took at least a year and a half of booking and arranging appointments. I found nearly every bit enjoyable but I did get quite frustrated by the lack of enthusiasm on the part of my H2B. Then again he was working twelve-hour days as well as attending a college course and taking exams, so I shouldn’t be too hard on him. I had my off days but I can honestly say I spent a small time of my working week emailing and on the phone to the necessary people. We spread it out over the year and a half as there would be lots of people to discuss our ideas with and we definitely needed that time-span as it made my life a lot easier.
What type of wedding ceremony did you have and where?
We had a big white wedding in a small church in Holland Park, West London, on July 13th 2002. The church holds a lot of memories for my family and I have been connected to it for a long time.
Where did you hold your reception and what was it like?
Chiswick Golf Club in London. We had Christmas dinner in July, which was lovely. I was able to leave all the table decorations and cameras to the staff there, who set everything up for me. We didn’t have to do a thing, they were wonderful and I would definitely recommend this venue.
Is there anything you’d change, with hindsight?
Looking back now, I think I would have taken more time over choosing my dress. The dress was made to measure by a designer and although I love it, looking at some photos now, the dress makes my bust look very large and draws a lot of attention to it. I’m a size fourteen to sixteen and my dress showed no cleavage whatsoever but it still made me look quite top heavy. We also didn’t hear the DJ announce that the buffet was ‘open’ and the cake had been cut and served. We didn’t get to eat any of the buffet, which we had paid a lot of money for, and we didn’t even get to try any of our wedding cake! That did upset me a bit but it was only a small glitch in what was a fantastic day.
What advice would you give to couples currently planning their wedding?
Take your time and plan well in advance. I know a few of my friends that have planned weddings within six months and everything has gone okay, but I do like attention to detail. As everything was done well in advance I definitely was NOT rushing around like a headless chicken! Shop around for your dress, no matter how much hassle it is. It can be strenuous making appointments and trying on different styles but don’t be badgered into making a decision. Remember the photos are for life!
Is there any other detail that you would like to share?
Because of all the pre-planning I had done for the wedding, I was actually calm the night before and on the day (we had both cried at the church rehearsal.) It is important that you have a relaxed frame of mind on the day and have as much space as you need wherever you are getting ready. My mum had forgotten that I was due to get ready at hers and had invited all the family down to meet at her house on the day. I was annoyed but then it all worked out well and they headed off to the pub earlier than expected.
Don’t let your guests encourage you into hurrying up with the photos after the ceremony. A few of our ushers and an odd bridesmaid had tried to hurry us on and it irritated us a bit because if it wasn’t for the photographer we would have no photos whatsoever. It’s your day, and your guests will have their food and drinks in good time.
We hired out an open top, red double-decker bus to take our guests from the church to the reception, which was only about six miles away. It was a nice touch and everyone enjoyed the bus ride.
Another good thing, which people congratulated me on, was that as I knew there would be children at the wedding, I went to Woolworths and bought bouncy balls, collage sets, paper and colouring pens. When the music started all the kids sat at one table and were happily sticking, gluing and drawing things. I am keeping my wedding folder on stand by as I would like to help anyone thinking of getting married and I’ve got lots of addresses and contacts now for the West London area, if anyone needs this info.
Oh, and one last thing. Confetti.co.uk has been the best website in all of this. We could not have done half of this without their help and it still amazes me how much info they have to help you along the way. I have recommended this website to lots of my friends and even though I’m now a married woman I will still be visiting the website.